Patty's Journey

Patty's Journey

From Orphanage to Adoption and Reunion

Book - 1996
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In 1936, four-year-old Patty Pearson was taken from her parents and placed in the State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children in Owatonna, Minnesota. Once at Owatonna, Patty was separated from her sister and brother, was sexually abused by the school janitor, and contracted tuberculosis. She was placed in two foster homes where she endured a variety of emotional and physical abuses. Eventually adopted at the age of seven, she would not see her sister again for more than thirty years. Through her late childhood and teen years Patty learned to negotiate the shoals of life as an adoptee - striving for full membership in the family, repressing her anger at being forbidden to discuss her past, wondering what became of her sister, brother, mother, and father. As a young woman coming of age she grew to appreciate the good things her adoptive family offered her even while holding on to a sense of self they wanted her to suppress. Patty's Journey is a richly textured account of people struggling through,the Great Depression and war years, but it also illuminates the customs and small victories of that era, often in surprising and humorous ways. Although it provides a disturbing look at child-rearing practices in state orphanages at the time, it is ultimately a redemptive tale of one woman's bravery in facing her past - and moving ahead toward a future that included both her selves.
Publisher: Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Press, c1996.
ISBN: 9780816628667
Characteristics: xiii, 186 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill. ;,24 cm.


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